19 December 2011

writing about olive oil and nonfiction

While ostensibly just a review of Extra virginity: the sublime and scandalous world of olive oil by Tom Mueller (W.W. Norton), this article by Dwight Garner in The New York times for December 8th expands on the very nature of nonfiction writing. I especially liked the sentences "It's an unintentional master class in how to say waxy and embalming things about fresh food" and "In this regard 'Extra virginity' is another reminder of why subpar nonfiction is so much better than subpar fiction. With nonfiction at least you can learn something." The review ends "That hollered obscenity reminds you that where there's a flask of olive oil, you also pray to find some vinegar."

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